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Brady MillsJul 30, 2010 8:34 PM GMT
This was posted today on Harp-L. I'll post it first, then I'll add my comments.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JASON RICCI: Alive and Well 2010 BMA Best Harmonica Award-winner, health improving following recent hospitalization; resumes touring in late August with a revitalized band (New Orleans, LA) We would first like to inform Jason Ricci's fans, colleagues and business associates that, despite widespread and far-fetched rumors to the contrary, Jason is alive and well. He was recently hospitalized with a severe respiratory infection but is now almost fully recovered and getting better daily. Despite his illness, Jason stood ready to fulfill his most recent touring schedule and regrets that he was forced to cancel several U.S. dates and a short European tour due to the un-professional actions of some former members of his band and business team. Jason will resume touring on August 21st at the White Mountain Boogie and Blues festival in Thornton, NH with a new team behind him with a restored energy and focus in his music. ?The Blues Music Association's "Harmonica Player of the Year" Jason Ricci has lived amongst rumors most of his life. Like David Bowie, James Cotton, Iggy Pop and Muddy Waters, Jason has lived life on the edge, an edge where sometimes life gets ugly. On that edge the truth eventually surfaces. For Jason the result was exhaustion and just plain boredom from the lack of professional direction in everyone around him. ??In June when Jason Ricci and New Blood endured a poorly booked European tour Jason was unaware that he had been suffering from pneumonia for six months. He was rapidly losing weight but refused to slow down his lifestyle and his touring. Fatigue eventually overcame him and in mid-June he was hospitalized and began treatment for his illness. It is deeply disappointing that at the same time, the people who had made their living off of Jason's raw talent, hard work, and lifelong dedication to his instrument, would stage a dramatic departure from his band, business, and life. ??Jason Ricci is young man who is passionate about life and has a unique approach to everything that he does. There are enough truths about Jason that are just as interesting as the rumors often spread about him. He cares deeply for his fans and all the people who have believed in him throughout his career. He sends his deepest apologies to the promoters and venues of the performances he was forced to cancel. As bandleader, he also apologizes for the unprofessional actions of his former team that left him no choice. ?? Jason wants everyone to know and understand that he is looking forward to the future with new management, agent, and band that together will change the way people look and listen to the harmonica and his music. ??He sincerely appreciates all the cards, emails, prayers, and letters that fans from throughout the world have sent wishing him a speedy recovery. ??You can be sure that he is looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=45122033&blogID=537393064#ixzz0uNC6rKKS
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First and foremost, I am happy that Jason is doing 'better' and will be touring again soon.
Having spent a lot of time around his former band mates though, I find this press release to be insulting. Jason's band mates were not only a great group of guys ... but incredible musicians. I will never condone this type of blandish and brazen approach to hurting their careers.
Those of you who know Todd and Shawn, know that they have always been very loyal to Jason Ricci, Shawn especially, who was with the band for at least (what) 10 years? I hardly believe that the band was unprofessional nor dramatic on their part.
To the band, I apologize that this is being reposted -- but I had to make a comment. Typically, I would not allow this type of negativity on our board against anyone... but I think it's important that I voice my opinion on this matter.
I have no doubt that Jason's life has been very difficult over the last several months, but to bring others down is sad and unnecessary. To all the people at Intrepid, and to Shawn and Buck, and to all the others who this message may refer (probably includes me in there somewhere) -- I love you and I always felt you were on our side. Despite the message being sent in this press release.
*and by "our" --- I mean the former "our"
The last time I spoke with Jason was just before this release went out, and I told him that including the language about others seemed unwise to me. I couldn't coment on the accuracy of what prompted it as I wasn't there to witness anything that went down, but I felt that making such statements in public made him look bad. But he seemed very eager to make these statements.
Since then I've heard eyewitness reports of his behavior and I'm saddened at what has been related.